Ronald Acuña Jr. knows he has to grind it out to get through this season for the Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves could have used Ronald Acuña Jr. in the final two games of their road series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.
After obliterating the Redbirds in St. Louis on Friday night, back-to-back nights of bullpen catastrophes have the Braves bringing a two-game losing streak back to town ahead of their next series vs. the lowly Colorado Rockies. While it was somewhat of a playoff atmosphere in The Lou, Acuña was absent in Saturday and Sunday’s games because of how his knee was bothering him.
Here is what Acuña said about his repaired knee acting up to The Athletic by way of a Spanish-speaking translator on staff.
“The confidence is there, but sometimes I don’t want to rotate because I don’t know if my knee will let me,” said Acuña to The Athletic. “I want to rotate, but I can’t. It’s like my body won’t let me.”
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker and the rest of Braves Country know Acuña will have to grind it out for the rest of the season before truly giving his surgically repaired knee a well-deserved break.
Atlanta Braves OF Ronald Acuña Jr. discusses what is going on with his knee
Look. We all knew that it was going to take some time for Acuña to get back to being Acuña after he tore his ACL on the loanDepot Park warning track in Miami two Julys ago. The immense baseball talent from Venezuela has had to learn how to play his all-out brand of baseball in spite of the physical limitations. While the universal DH helped him return faster, he is not 100 percent.
In truth, we are not going to see Acuña firing on all cylinders until probably spring training next year. While he has seemed to have found his sweet stroke at the plate of late, the big issue with him is playing right field on a regular basis. Usually quick afoot on the base paths, he got thrown out big time on one play in particular in Friday night’s convincing defeat over the pesky Redbirds.
The good news here is Atlanta has plenty of talent on its roster to allow Acuña to take a few days off and give his knee a break. Getting Eddie Rosario back from his eye injury has been huge. Trading for Robbie Grossman from the Detroit Tigers has been a godsend. However, Atlanta is not repeating as World Series champions if Acuña is not going to be much of a factor come October.
Every team deals with injuries this time of year, so the Braves will have to adjust accordingly.